Amy Adams in a scene from the film
I discovered this film at work one day. Every now and again when it gets quiet I like to browse the shelves and discover a hidden treasure. When I saw this one I was immediately drawn by the title and the pictures on the cover, "Could this be Miss Honey from my favourite childhood movie, Matilda?" Sure enough it was, except in real life she goes by the name of Embeth Davidtz. That night after my shift had finished I decided to watch the trailer for the film on YouTube and was so intrigued that I bought it the very next day.
Junebug is utterly moving. All actors in the film are completely engrossing playing rather unique but honest characters. The film is set in North Carolina where a typical small-town, American family live and are about to meet their son's wife (Davidtz). Davidtz has grown up all over the world and works as an art dealer; very far from what the family are used to. Their other son played by Ben McKenzie is very quiet and often keeps to himself, whilst his highschool sweetheart, (Amy Adams) gets easily excited by anything and always has a smile on her face. Adams is the star of the film, her performance is outstanding as the character who is the glue of the family, trying to keep it all together.
Despite the setting of Junebug being one that you can easily set up stereotypes for, it pulls out these realistic, believable characters that you don't usually get out of a small-town film. Sure they praise Jesus and are very closed-minded about things but they are just very real. There's something somewhat depressing about their small-town lives, and when Madeleine, the daughter-in-law comes to visit their inadequacies are slowly revealed.
I loved the realness of this film and the choice to show two parallel worlds that come together. It had its share of quirky moments and often saddening scenes and overall I felt very humbled by the film.